Friday, August 30, 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines

A few days ago I was finally able to see The Place Beyond The Pines, a movie I had been trying to watch all summer. While the movie was visually stunning, well-written, and above all else beautifully shot, other aspects, such as how the film was marketed and how the themes were presented, are what really took me by surprise. I was expecting the whole movie to revolve around Ryan Gosling, a red herring presented to anyone who had seen the preview. The film's depth ended up spanning over three generations with Gosling killed within the first third of the total running time, something I found to be rather unexpected. But it was a smart move if you ask me. Over two thirds of the film are about something related but completely different than Ryan Gosling's character. I can only imagine how many teen girls were distraught after finding this out. The movie contained three mini plots within the main plot, each one with a beginning and end, and each one expressing a totally different theme about life, vengeance and passion. In an era of witless hollywood movies, it was quite refreshing to see a storyline as complex and unique as this one. However, I do have an issue with how in-your-face the themes were presented. For example, it was quite obvious that Bradley Cooper's character had to deal with a looming cloud of regretfulness after murdering Luke, which will most likely never be eradicated by his success, yet there was a fifteen minute scene of him describing his feelings to a psychiatrist. It was both boring and redundant. There are other examples of this throughout the film both big and small, but overall the film was one of my favorites this year, and it is without a doubt one of my favorites in the father/son genre.

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